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12. Juli 2020
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Initial Quality Study
Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any crazier, Dodge has tied Kia to win J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study.
Yes, you read that right, Dodge won. A quality study. Seriously.
To say the result is surprising is an understatement as Dodge hasn’t released an all-new vehicle in what feels like an eternity. In fact, their lineup is so old they still sell the Journey.
However, Dodge’s aging lineup could be one of its greatest assets as J.D. Power noted “new-vehicle quality [is] mainly dependent on trouble-free technology.” The company also noted infotainment systems are are most problematic category as “almost one-fourth of all problems cited by new-vehicle owners relate to infotainment” with main complaints being built-in voice recognition, Android Auto / Apple CarPlay connectivity, touchscreens, built-in navigation systems and Bluetooth connectivity.
Without the latest and greatest tech features, Dodge largely avoids the issue. Of course, that’s over simplifying things and FCA was clearly happy with the result as they noted Dodge has become the “first domestic brand ever to achieve a No. 1 ranking in the prestigious study’s 34-year run.”
Kia tied Dodge with 136 problems per hundred vehicles within the first 90 days of ownership. However, Kia’s achievement wasn’t as surprising as this marks the sixth consecutive year they were the highest-ranked mass market brand.
Continuing down the list, Chevrolet and Ram tied for second with 141 problems per 100 vehicles. They were closely followed by Genesis (142), Mitsubishi (148) and Buick (150).
The industry average was 166 problems per hundred vehicles and domestic brands did surprisingly good this year as GMC (151), Jeep (155) and Cadillac (162) all did better than average. J.D. Power noted this was the “best-ever performance by the Detroit automakers – when compared with the import brands – in the history of the study.”
Of course, the study also has it losers and luxury brands finished dead last. Jaguar had 190 problems per hundred vehicles, while Mercedes come in at 202. They were followed by Volvo (210), Audi (225) and Land Rover (228).
Despite the disappointing showing, they weren’t the worst of the worst. That dubious honor went to Tesla which was profiled for the first time.
The brand had 250 problems per hundred vehicles and J.D. Power automotive division president, Doug Betts, noted “Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t grant us permission to survey its owners in 15 states where it is required.”
Despite this obstacle, Betts said they we were able to collect a “large enough sample of surveys from owners in the other 35 states and, from that base, we calculated Tesla’s score.” However, it’s not an official ranking as Tesla didn’t meet the necessarily criteria.
As for the top models, the Chevrolet Sonic achieved the best score with 103 problems per hundred vehicles. Other winners included the Audi A3, Cadillac CT5, Ford Mustang and Genesis G70. They were joined by a host of other models such as the BMW 8-Series, Nissan Maxima, Lexus GX and Jaguar E-Pace.
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